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China’s COVID surge produced no new variants, analysis suggests

According to new analysis, no new COVID variants were discovered during China’s recent surge of cases.

After rare protests that threatened the authority of the regime, the country ended their strict zero COVID policy on December. This led to an outbreak and nearly 60,000 deaths in just over one month.

Large numbers of infections were once a breeding ground for new variants. This ranged from Gauteng in South Africa to Kent, UK.

A study has shown that Omicron’s two sub-variants – BA.5.2 & BF.7 – are responsible for China’s surge in cases. They account for over 90% of all infections in Beijing between 14 and 20 December.


Although the research was primarily focused on the capital, it is believed that the study provides a snapshot of the nationwide coronavirus outbreak because of the characteristics of the city and how transmissible this virus is.

Professor George Gao from the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “Given how variants have affected the course of the pandemic it was important to examine whether any new variants emerged after recent changes to China’s COVID prevention-control policies.”

“Our analysis shows that two Omicron subvariants, rather than any new variants, are responsible for the current surge of Beijing and possibly China as a whole.

“However, due to the ongoing large-scale distribution of COVID in China it is important that we continue to monitor this situation closely so that any possible new variants are discovered as soon as possible.”

The peer-reviewed study was published in The Lancet journal.


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